The Magical Mystery Tour – Part II

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The Friends of the Cincinnati library book sale, where I could have stayed all day, is where I left off in my last Magical Mystery post. Talk about a book lover’s paradise! For this homeschooling momma, it was close to heaven. Many libraries today are dumping the classics folks and those are the books we use in our day-to-day schooling.  I was not disappointed in this stop. We only had about 45 minutes until closing, by the time we arrived, so I quickly ran around collecting what I could find with the binder I carry for just such occasions. I did knock two books off the list I needed for this year, and several others for successive years. The prices were GREAT, so great that it was no surprise at check out to hear the volunteer mention a used bookstore owner had bought over $800 worth of books the day prior. I bet, and marked them up besides. This gem of a stop is located at the Friends Warehouse, 8456 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45216. I am headed back alone some weekend to spend the entire day on the hunt. The gals with me found a couple of treasures each. But quickly we were off to the next mystery stop.

Ikea! Just the name conjures up happiness so it was no surprise this envelope was chosen. If you’ll recall, I had made 20 mystery envelopes and the choice of the envelope would determine the next stop. This envelope had a plate and a fork on the outside, but my daughter-in-law quickly narrowed it down to some kind of store with kitchen ware and, with the knowledge that we were headed to Cincinnati, figured this clue out. We decided not to stop first thing in the day, when the envelope was first picked, so quickly headed here after our adventure at the library sale. Ikea never disappoints and we found some treasures and loaded up the car. About this point we all needed a break from the heat, so out came the envelopes, and, no surprise, it was time for a brewery.

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Madtree Brewing, to be exact, east of Cincinnati and also one of the top 10 craft breweries in Ohio. We found a place to park, admired the tomato bushes growing out front and went it to taste the magic elixir. Well, they tasted the elixir, I had a water, still pinch-hitting as designated driver, aside from the fact I can’t stand beer, lol. This was a production-facility and tap room and it was hopping with people for a Saturday afternoon. So we enjoyed the atmosphere and contemplated more envelopes and where we would head the rest of the day.

At this point, the gals were ranking the envelopes from most likely to least likely and then opening to survey all the options. For this night that included dinner at a winery (we were running late on this option); an outdoor Shakespeare festival in a local park (out due to lack of chairs); an outdoor theatre featuring the Indian legend Tecumseh or the 4th Annual Milford Street Eats Festival, which turned out to be the winner-winner chicken dinner. So the tasting flights were finished and we were out the door.

It was a gorgeous drive to Milford through an area called Indian Hill, billed as an affluent suburb of the greater Cincinnati area. Worth the drive if you have the time.

We finally found our location following the GPS outside of Milford and around, to a big parking lot filled with 24 food trucks, several beer trucks, kid’s games and a center stage with entertainment. It was a beautiful evening and this was a perfect stop. The only disappointment came when the BBQ truck closed down early after running out of food, but there was still plenty to be had and the beer was plentiful. We finished our evening listening to the band play while we sampled the best the trucks had to offer.

 

Stayed tuned for Part 3, which involved a mixup on where exactly where we were staying and a whole other day of adventures.

The Magical Mystery Tour

 

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I have this lovely daughter (well, two actually) but I am talking of my oldest here. She’s strong, like her momma, both in a good and bad way. All of you with strong kiddos know exactly what I mean. I have found that bribery, something I said I would NEVER resort to in my young and foolish days (pre-children), works just fine whether your kiddo is young or old, and so bribery it was and thus the Magical Mystery Tour was birthed.

 

Three days, three nights, no knowledge of where the heck we were going (other than knowing where we would end up and that was the reason for the bribe). I must say, for someone as strong-willed as she is, she did mystery just fine. For my end, I made darn sure it was an awesome trip filled with things she would love (i.e. breweries cuz any trip is made better with a brewery, or five, stop).

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Day 1/Night 1 – Surprise! – your sweet sister-in-law is coming and off we went to stay with them, just a hop, skip and a jump down the pike. Young man got dropped off here with his older brother so there were smiles all around.

 

Day 2 – Out the door as early as we could muster. Did I mention mystery?   You see this trip unfolded like the “Choose your own Adventure” books she remembered growing up – the girls chose the direction we would go based on any one of the envelopes available in the moment. So there were 3 to 4 possible directions we would head based on their envelope choice, all with sticker clues, some very obtuse, on the front.   And, just for fun, I had thrown in quite a few things I liked to do, so it wasn’t only things that floated their boat, making it even more mysterious. First stop, the Cincinnati Art Museum, free entry (parking $4) with an exhibit of Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. This was a sure-fire pleaser as both gals are cat lovers. It was a fun stop, the exhibit excellent and it was a hoot to shop the gift store and see the $500 print for sale. I thoroughly enjoyed the Modern Cats exhibit too, in which prose was paired with cat pictures in a fun and whimsical way.  We could have spent a long time here as their museum’s collection looks quite extensive, but we had a mystery schedule, more or less, and mystery was calling.

The next envelope sent us over to Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine Brewery District. As luck would have it, we stumbled upon Findlay Market in the process and stopped here for lunch and to look around. This is a not-to-be-missed stop, filled with lots of food options and many market stalls plus some venders. Two of us opted for the choose your own salad combo while one of us went for the waffle sandwich with brie, ham, pesto and apple. All very yummy.

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Next stop: Rhinegeist Brewery, one block away. We kept our car at the Market and walked over. We delightfully discovered two bar areas: one rooftop and the other inside a 5-story building, coverted to brewery and pub. The view was great from the rooftop. Beer also good, according to the taste testers I had brought along. (Our crew voted this the best atmosphere of the 5 Ohio breweries we visited this trip). After a quick visit with an area friend, we were off again on our journey. Next stop – The Friends of the Cincinnati library sale where I could have stayed all day. More on this next post!